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Jesuit Terms L

LaFarge, John (1880-1963)

American Jesuit; editor, journalist, founder of the Catholic interracial movement in the U.S.

Spent 15 years in pastoral ministry in the Jesuit rural missions of St. Mary’s County, southern Maryland, largely among African Americans.

From 1926 until his death, associate editor of America, the national Jesuit weekly review.

For more than 35 years, carried on his long apostolate for interracial justice in the pages of America, on the lecture platform, and principally through the formation across the country of the Catholic Interracial Councils and their organ, the Interracial Review.

Besides numerous journal articles and reviews, his published works include Interracial Justice (1937), The Race Question and the Negro (1953), The Manner Is Ordinary, his autobiography (1954), and An American Amen (1958).

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Lainez, Diego (1512-1565)

Spanish Jesuit; one of first companions; second superior general

Of Jewish descent (his great-grandfather was a convert) Lainez was one of the great men of Catholic reform—especially through his work as papal theologian at the Council of Trent (3 sessions between 1545 and 1563). Two years after Ignatius’s death, he was elected second superior general of the Society.

There is a biography by Joseph Fichter titled James Lainez, Jesuit (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1944).

The last name is sometimes spelled Laynez.

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Laity

Lay person/lay people

The people of a religious faith as distinguished from its clergy; within Catholic circles, however, members of religious communities who are not ordained (i.e. "sisters" and "brothers") are often popularly associated with priests and bishops and not with lay people. (It would be more accurate to see them as neither, as having their own unique role and style of life; see "Religious Order/Religious Life.")

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) understood the church inclusively--not just as hierarchy (bishops and pope) and clergy (priests and deacons), but as the whole people of God. It declared that all the baptized, by the very fact of their baptism, are called to holiness and to ministry. (Earlier, lay people were said to participate in the ministry belonging exclusively to clergy and hierarchy.)

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LeMoyne, Simon (1604-1697)

French Jesuit; missioner to New France; peace negotiator

Simon LeMoyne arrived in Quebec city in 1638 and soon went to Wendake (earlier called the Huron territory), where John Brebeuf and other Jesuits and lay volunteers labored. He became proficient in the Wendat, Iroquois, and Algonquin languages. Indeed, among the 300 French Jesuits who would serve on the New France mission in the 17th and 18th centuries, he knew the native languages and the nuances of their oratory and diplomacy best (MacDonnell, Jesuit Family Album (1997).

LeMoyne survived the Mohawk destruction of the Wendat-French community (see “Brebeuf, John”) and went on to negotiate peace (1654) with another branch of the Five Nations (Iroquois), the Onondagas, near the site of present-day Syracuse, NY. When the New York Jesuits established a school in Syracuse in 1946, they named it LeMoyne College in honor of Simon LeMoyne.

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Liberation Theology

A movement within Latin American Catholic theology and spirituality since the 1950s and 60s that reads the Christian gospel from the standpoint of the poor. In Latin America there is hardly a middle class, and 5% of the population controls 80% of the wealth. Liberation theology has the gospel—and the Hebrew prophets—address the unjust social, economic and political structures that keep the poor powerless. It claims that salvation is not just something that happens in the next life, but that it must bring freedom and dignity and a fair share of the world’s goods in this life to all, especially those who suffer oppression.

Some means of bringing about liberation are small Christian base communities where the gospel is applied to the life situation of the poor, programs that teach reading and in the process self-esteem, and labor organizing to secure more just wages. Such activities have stirred up the powerful to new levels of repression including the killing of religious leaders who empower the poor.

The Vatican and the majority of local (Latin American) church leadership have been wary about liberation theology, seeing it as more Marxist than Christian and determined to uphold traditional church order (where many bishops come from and are aligned with the wealthy and powerful).

For a fuller treatment, click here.

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Life and Work of Apostolic Women Religious in the U.S. after Vatican II

See "Women Religious"

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Liturgy

From the Greek meaning the “peoples’ work.”

The term liturgy expresses an essential of worship as understood by the pioneers who prepared the way for the Vatican II document on the renewal of Catholic worship—namely, that it is not just something the priest does, but rather is the work of the whole congregation, all the people. In this, it is consistent with the later council document on the Church as not just the hierarchy but the whole “people of God.”

The Catholic liturgy includes all the sacraments, but especially the Eucharist, commonly called the Mass, now seen actually to have two parts—the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the former, people listen to God’s word (scripture), what God has done for them; and in the latter people respond to God by joining Jesus in a great prayer of thanksgiving and praise—the Eucharistic Prayer.

Another part of liturgical worship is the Liturgy of the Hours, composed of psalms (and other songs) as well as readings from scripture and other religious writings. It is cele- brated daily by the members of monastic communities (both women and men) at speci-
fied times throughout the day and night (the “Hours”). Individual parts of it—for example, evensong—are also celebrated, usually on an occasional basis, in some parish churches.

See “Sacrament.”

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Lonergan, Bernard (1904-1984)

Canadian Jesuit; philosopher, theologian, interdisciplinary scholar of “method.”

Concerned with the crisis caused by Christianity’s difficulty in making the transition to modern society and culture (Theology “has somehow to mediate God’s meaning into the whole of human affairs”).

Inspired by what Thomas Aquinas did for Christianity in somewhat similar circumstances in the 13th century.

Professor of theology at Jesuit theologates in Montreal and Toronto (Insight: A Study of Human Understanding [1959]), Rome, again Toronto (Method in Theology [1972], and finally at Boston College (work on an economics neither capitalist nor Marxist).

Conducted a now-famous “Institute in the Philosophy of Education” at Xavier University in August of 1959.

The University of Toronto Press is gradually issuing the Collected Works in 20 volumes.

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Lopez Quintana, Amando (1936-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Lopez y Lopez, Joaquin (1918-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Loyola

The House of Loyola's coat of arms

Loyola is a town in the Basque Country of northeastern Spain, where Ignatius (of Loyola) was born and raised. The name Loyola may be derived from the Spanish Lobo-y-olla, meaning wolf and kettle. This image is found carved in stone on the castle where Ignatius was raised. The image reflects a legend that the family prepared enough food to feed themselves and the wolves in the area.  It has become a symbol of hospitality and generosity.  The coat of arms of the House of Loyola is depicted in the crests of many universities and schools.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"